Blog Best Practices: Frequency, Length and Interaction
Amongst all the other marketing tasks on your to-do list, building and maintaining a blog often gets pushed off as a “tomorrow” task. However, statistics have shown that blogging is an integral part of a successful communications strategy, and best yet, it’s free. Time to make this one a priority.
All too often, the frequency of blog posts is a direct result of how much time we have-- and it’s usually not much, so it suffers. Like other social media platforms, your blog will thrive with consistency. Create a posting schedule that’s realistic based on your resources, but frequent-- once or twice a week is just about right. Feel free to blog more often if you have news that your readers will enjoy.
Ask yourself that very question and you’ll get the answer. You’ll have more success engaging readers if your post is simple, to the point and brief (no more than 4 paragraphs tops). Obviously there will be exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, you’ll have better luck maintaining a readership when you’re not posting War & Peace every time.
What should my blog posts be about?
This one’s easy, something interesting. Put yourself in the reader’s seat and keep it focused on information relevant to them including:
It’s not uncommon that, at some point, we’re a little “light” on newsy tidbits, so plan ahead by creating recurring features like guest bloggers, “Meet so-and-so” interviews or “Spotlight on...” (church, person, etc.) Use these as fallbacks to fill holes in your publishing schedule.
Ask them. Throughout your post, or at the end, ask readers a question about the blog topic and encourage them to share their thoughts by leaving comments. Also, take advantage of social media by adding the Facebook “like” and “share” buttons, or adding an “email a friend” button. When readers utilize these tools, it’s free cross-promotion for you and gets your content out to an entirely new audience that you didn’t previously have access to.
If people take the time to engage with you, reward them by promptly answering questions or following up on a comment they’ve left. The internet can be so impersonal so it goes a long way when you reach out from behind the “curtain” and respond with a simple “thanks for being here, we welcome your thoughts”. Awwwww.
What are your favorite blog tips and tricks? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! (See what we did there?)